Never Give Up When You Face A Difficulty
30 July 2017

Ezra 4:1-6

We see some amateur marathon runners around us and they participate in several marathons every year. They don't receive prizes but a mere medal to celebrate their accomplishment of finishing the whole marathon. When they run, they have a hard time breathing and pain in their bodies. So, some people think that those marathon runners make unnecessary trouble for themselves. Yes, running a marathon is very difficult but those runners constantly try and run because they can enjoy a big achievement when they finish their races.

A Christian Counselor Paul Tournier wrote a book, "Face La Souffrance" and he used a term "creative pain" in his book. In his book, he said that sometimes, God gives difficulties to people and makes them suffer because he wants them to find the true meaning of life and to become nature Christians. He said that sufferings don't cause people to grow mentally and spiritually but their responses and attitudes on difficulties.

In today's scripture, we see the Israelites growing spiritually through the difficulty. Some Israelites came back to Jerusalem after 70 years of slavery in Babylon. They began to repair and rebuild the temple of Jerusalem which had been destroyed by the Babylonians. When they began to work, some Samaritans came and told them that they would want to help with the work. Their intention was not good because they had a political motive. The Israelites knew it so they refused their suggestion. Then the Samaritans changed their attitudes and began to distract the work of the Israelites. They gave bribes to the Persian officers and asked them to stop the work of the Israelites. Because of their constant disturb, the Israelites lost their passion and eventually gave up on their work. They stopped the work for 16 years. For those years, they never tried to begin working again and they went through much suffering.

When you try something, or begin a new work, sometimes, some people disturb your work. Then you lose your passion and are tempted to give up on it. You probably think that God allows you to face the difficulty so you complain about the circumstance to him. But You must believe that God's will is in your difficulty. You can grow mentally and spiritually through the difficulty.

When I studied at Fuller Seminary, I met a woman student, in the middle of 50s. She came from east India. Her husband was a pastor but he suddenly became sick and died. She became a window at young age. She felt frustrated and went through depression for several years. When she was young, she wanted to become a pastor but her family opposed her. Instead of becoming a pastor, she married a pastor and served God helping her husband's ministry. She was very happy. However, after her husband died, she had to stop the work of the ministry. After going through deep frustration for several years, she decided to enter a seminary. But her children and relatives opposed her this time. Despite their objection, she came to America and studied at the seminary. She received the full scholarship with the living expense as well from the seminary. She graduated the seminary a couple of years ago and now she serves a church as a senior pastor.

The Israelites gave up on the work of the temple of Jerusalem. They stopped working for 16 years. Whenever they saw the temple of Jerusalem, they felt guilty to God. God sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to them. Those prophets encouraged the Israelites and delivered God's message to them. The Israelites gained courage, began working again and finished the work in four years.

Last month, the deaf Christian singer, Mandy Harvey was on a TV audition program called 'America's Got Talent'. She wanted to become a singer but when she was 18 years old, she lost her hearing. But she chose to sing songs again. Now she spreads God's word through worships or concerts. When she shares her story and sings, many people are encouraged and inspired.

The most important thing is that you must not give up in your circumstance. You must believe that God's will is in your difficulty. He is always with you. You constantly ask God for help and constantly try. When you constantly try than giving up, you will see and witness God's amazing work in the near future.

 

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Last modified 14 January 2018.
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